Monday, February 23, 2015

Help! What Should We Pay the Pastor? – Part Three, The Bi-vocational Pastor

          I don’t think there is a single class of men in the world that have my respect more than bi-vocational pastors. Perhaps our soldiers fighting in combat overseas, but other than that I cannot think of a group whom I esteem more highly. They work incredibly hard. They carry the weight of great burdens with little to no rest. They sacrifice themselves selflessly to minister to the needs of people and advance the cause of Christ. Because of the size of their churches they often serve unnoticed by the brethren who operate larger ministries. They struggle to make ends meet both at home and at church. Their very lack of ministerial 'success' breeds in them a constant struggle with discouragement. Yet they just keep on going.
          Such men are rarely bi-vocational out of choice. They do so out of necessity. Most of the time their church is too small to afford to pay a complete salary package. Sometimes the pastor inherits a financial mess and the only way to get the church past it intact is for him to throw all the money available at some debt or other. Other times the church is financially lazy, used to living off the sacrifice of such men, and in thus taking advantage of their pastor they ignore their scriptural responsibilities. It is here that I wish to begin.
          I have zero patience with the position which states pastors should serve without pay. Scripture is repeatedly and emphatically clear upon the point. The plainest passage in the Word of God in this regard has to be I Corinthians 9.

7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

          From this passage I pull several applications:
-The pastor should not have to run church ministries or bear church expenses out of his own pocket. At the very least, they should be promptly reimbursed. (v7)
-As the church grows numerically the pastor ought to reap the financial fruits of this growth. (v7)
-This was not just Paul's self-serving opinion. The principle was established in the Torah. (v8)
-It is normal that a pastor who gives his life to feed the flock spiritually should, in turn, find his physical/financial needs met by that flock. Indeed, the church should take as conscientious an approach to their responsibility in this as they expect the pastor to take in his sermon preparation, his counseling, his discipleship, and his spiritual oversight of their souls. …and I dearly think some of you reading this need to stop a moment and ponder the implications of that last sentence. (v11)
-In turn, the pastor must never forget his responsibility to be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary financially in order to help the church. (v12)
-God's design does not include a pastor permanently being bi-vocational. He is
supposed to live of the things of the temple. God has ordained this. It is often temporarily necessary to be bi-vocational for a variety of reasons – starting a new church from scratch, ministering in a rural area with little population where growth is slower, accepting the pastorate of a declining work, picking up the pieces after a split, etc. – but the operative word here is temporary. A pastor that does not understand this threatens the spiritual and emotional health of his family as well as the spiritual health of his church. At some point his willingness to sacrifice produces a welfare type of mentality in the church. Such churches never develop the internal strength to stand on their own two feet because they are always walking on crutches. Not only that, but he will be a better pastor when his mind and time and energy are freed up and devoted entirely to the church. The goal must be eventually to wean him from the necessity of working other jobs. He needs to know that. His family needs to know that. His church needs to know that. (v13-14)

          From these applications then I would offer the following practical suggestions:

1) The pastor should always be paid something. When I realized the financial mess my little church was in a few weeks after I became the pastor I cut my salary by 75% but I kept something. The principle of this was more helpful to the church in the long run than the extra $200 they could have applied to some current need.

2) The pastor should teach the people that he needs to be completely supported when the church is healthy enough to afford it. I will speak more to this later, but entirely too many pastors are loathe to frankly discuss their own pay package with their church. For the sake of the church, for the sake of his family, and for the sake of his own long term ministry the pastor must get beyond this. I have known more than a few men who greatly desired to become full time in the ministry but they shrank from telling their church. Consequently, the church got used to not paying the pastor much. As the church grew they found, as churches always will, some other good use for that money. When the church got big enough to support the pastor these men faced great resistance because they had not gradually and carefully laid the groundwork for their request to be paid.

3) The church should be ruthless about starting ministries that soak up money until the pastor's needs are amply provided. Perhaps ruthless is too strong of a word but it does get my point across. Ministries should not be started simply because there is a need. There is always a need. That need is always greater than what the church can afford. Ministries should be started, maintained, and extended because the church needs to do ministry in order to be like Jesus. The difference between those two approaches is that sometimes one need takes precedence over another. And what a young or small church needs most is a pastor.
          When I accepted the pastorate of those eleven people in the summer of 1997 I inherited a church that supported eight missionaries at a cost of about five hundred dollars a month. The intentions behind such decisions were awesome. In practical terms, it was killing us. We could not pay our rent. The few remaining people were nervous. We were inches away from closing. I realized that while supporting missionaries was a good thing the best thing was a stable, healthy church. It was the best thing for our community while simultaneously being the best thing for our missionaries. I asked our church to rework its missions support. We did not cancel any of our eight missionaries. Instead we decided to stop subsidizing the insultingly low Faith Promise missions giving from the pitifully empty general fund. We decided instead to take whatever came in through Faith Promise, divide it up eight ways, and send it out.
          As a young pastor with great dreams I found this singularly embarrassing. The first year we sent checks of two and three dollars a month to these dear people. But I wrote them all, explained the situation, and told them that the best thing I could do for them was to grow a healthy church. To a man, they wrote back with nothing but kind and understanding words. Over time, as our church got healthier, our missions giving grew accordingly. Before I left we had even grown past the initially disastrous starting point and added some additional missionaries. But I do not think it would have happened that way if we had not made the hard decision to dramatically decrease in the short term a wonderful and wonderfully expensive ministry.

4) The pastor should not permanently stay in a situation in which he is forced to remain bi-vocational. I think, of everything I have said in this post, this will produce the most disagreement but it is honestly what I both believe and feel. I believe it because the Scripture teaches it but I feel it because of life experience.
In my own case I can remember assembling the men of my little Pennsylvania church relatively early on and informing them that I would not stay there forever as a bi-vocational pastor. Let me hasten to add that this was NOT the reason I left but it would have been if things had not improved over time as they did.
I am not alone in my marriage in growing up in a poverty stricken preacher's home. My wife did as well. Her father was an assistant pastor when she was born and then started a church in the same area when she was just a little girl. It never got big enough to support their family and this forced her father to work a variety of side jobs constantly. Ministry drains a person, beloved. When there is not sufficient time or mental space for recuperation that drain eventually sucks the life out of a man. It breaks my heart to say it, but after years of this my wife's father walked away from his own pulpit and his own family all in the same day. Twenty five years later he has not been back to either. Certainly there were other contributing factors but only an idiot would insist that the strain of being bi-vocational for years without an end in sight played no part in this.
Additionally, having been bi-vocational for five years myself and now for thirteen years being full time in the ministry I know the difference between the two. By this I mean the difference in my own life and mind. It is so incredibly freeing, mentally, to have your ministry be your sole focus. My preaching immediately got better. My study, over time, got exponentially better. This in turn only continued the improvement in my preaching. I do not mean that arrogantly; I mean that I know I am a better preacher when I am free to be just the pastor. There is a direct correlation between the two. And since this is my main task (I Peter 5.2) it is a great blessing to the church itself when the pastor is free to just be the pastor.

5) A struggling church should be creative in supporting their pastor. If they do not have the sheer dollars with which to do so they should look for some other way to provide. Perhaps they could team up with another struggling church and together share a pastor. One could have a service Sunday morning and the other Sunday night. One could have a mid-week service on Wednesday and the other on Thursday. In pioneer days this worked for the Methodist circuit riders and I am not quite sure why we do not do much of it now. Perhaps the families in the church could take turns being responsible for hosting the pastor and his family for dinner three nights a week. This fellowship would grow the pastor-people relationship as well as decrease a grocery bill. If there is a mechanic in the church he might offer to work on the pastor's car at no charge. If there is a stylist in the church perhaps she might offer to care for her pastor's wife's hair. If there is an accountant in the church perhaps he might offer to do the taxes at no charge. Each person might give a little of what they are and do. In the long term a pastor ought to be able to afford to buy his own groceries and pay for his own car repairs but in the short to medium term this would be a blessing to both sides.

In conclusion, let me say that I do not believe that I alone have the only valid opinion in this area. I do believe my experience gives me an understanding of such a situation but I do not claim to be the only person worth hearing on the matter. If you are a bi-vocational pastor or a member of a church with a bi-vocational pastor I am perfectly glad to hear your own thoughts even if they disagree with mine.

And let me say again, for I cannot say it too forcefully or too often, such men have my greatest respect. Many an earthly story of Christ likeness displayed to us only in Heaven will involve the story of a dedicated, selfless, diligent, persevering, patient bi-vocational pastor and his sacrificial family. May God bless them. May He bless them richly.   

Monday, February 16, 2015

Help! What Should We Pay the Pastor? - Part Two, My Story

          We, each of us, have a story. This story combines the facets of our past into a crystalline structure that lends our now form and substance. Perhaps I should write more simply – our history informs our present. Much of the way we look at the world, our individual perspective, is colored by the emotions, circumstances, events, and places of our past. This is true in a myriad of aspects including the one under discussion at the moment. What I believe about how a church and her pastor relate to one another, financially speaking, is rooted in my own past. This is my story.
          I was born in the early 1970's. Two months before my birth my father accepted the pastorate of an average size IFB church in a small Midwestern town. He was in his early thirties and fresh out of Bible college. The church was healthy numerically and financially. We lived in a parsonage about a block from the church for the following eighteen years.
The old black and white generics filled our pantry
       Every child thinks their own childhood is normal. Later, at some point, they come to grasp the uniqueness of their situation, and to examine its strengths and weaknesses. My situation had some absolutely tremendous strengths – stability, a quiet town, godly parents, etc. But unfortunately my situation also had some weaknesses and one of those was that my Dad pastored a stingy church. Twenty years later, in a rare moment of expressed frustration, he showed me a chart. It listed his pay from his first year at that church until his last year at that church. In inflation adjusted dollars he actually was paid less at the end than he was at the beginning, and the beginning was not much at all either. The church did experience one bad split to toward the end of my father's time as pastor but the penury of our existence was not a result or consequence of that split. The church had no debt. It had money in the bank. It was in a prosperous if small community. It was relatively full of hard working union members who worked the local steel mills. They just believed in paying the pastor next to nothing. Their philosophy might as well have been the notorious statement 'we will let God keep him humble while we keep him poor.'
          That stingy attitude had a direct negative consequence on our family of eight. For instance, my mother went fifteen years without a new dress. At the age of nine I took a paper route and kept it for the next eight years. One of the reasons I kept it was that I needed it. For many years I bought my own clothes and shoes and paid my own way to camps and youth activities. Dental care was paid for out of my own pocket. I remember at the age of fourteen needing a root canal and crown and paying it off slowly with my paper route money over the next year. I hated my smile all of my life until finally fixing it at the age of forty. But I could not afford to fix it as a young man and I never told my parents about how I felt for I knew they could not afford to do anything about it. We ate together as a family at a sit down restaurant where you order from an actual menu one time in my entire childhood that I recall, and that was because my grandmother took us. The church charged my father for the long distance calls he made in his own office on church grounds while on church business. I could furnish many such similar examples.
          But beyond those small illustrations I vividly remember something worse. Every time a large expense came up my father would have to go, hat in hand, to the deacons and in some manner hint that something must be done. Our car fell apart gradually. It became a running (sometimes) joke in our church until the deacon chairman looked down from his throne in pity and deigned to patronize our family with a used station wagon of his own choice. Appliances broke beyond the ability to repair and we had to hope someone in the church would take pity on us and purchase us a new one. Often they did and their individual generosity and care for us warms my heart to this day. The bags of groceries, the tuition payments, the cars lent all spoke of the genuine Christian affection of good people. But on the whole we lived a life of almost penury filled with a long series of petty financial insults and aggravations. It was embarrassing. It was humbling. It was insulting. It was emasculating. It was limiting in a thousand ways I do not have the space to detail.
          Reading back over what I have just written it almost smacks of bitterness. I was not bitter then and I am not now. In fact, just six years after I left home as a high school senior I became the pastor of a tiny IFB church in western Pennsylvania. My first Sunday eleven people greeted me. I did such a bang-up job that a year later, on my anniversary, seven people greeted me. It took five years of blood, toil, sweat, and tears to get that church to the place where it could support a pastor full time and even that was tenuous.
My first budget plan hand
scrawled two weeks after becoming a pastor
          I took over from a good man who had given his life for ten years and had little to show for it. The building where we met was not purchased but rented and, unbeknownst to me at the time, we were behind on the rent. The church had no membership list, no Sunday School classes, no telephone, no address, and no money. When I accepted the call to be their pastor they offered me $800 a month in salary. Within two weeks I figured out they could not afford it. I reworked the budget and decreased my salary down to $200 per month. I personally moved into the church building we rented. It did not have an apartment but it did have an office. I put a cot and a heater and a chair in that office and lived there for a year. I took a special offering from the people for two months in order to scrape up a few hundred dollars to have a flimsy shower installed on wooden blocks in the furnace room. My bathroom was 120 steps away. I stashed my clothes in a third-hand dresser hidden behind the baptistery.
          Within a year and a half we had purchased an inexpensive unfinished church building in a neighboring town. I repeated the same scenario except this time the office was bigger, the furnace room with the rickety shower was closer, and the bathroom actually had heat. For another two years I lived in that office including about six months with a very gracious and patient young wife. I routinely had a nightmare that I had slept in on Sunday morning and people were knocking at the front door of the church while I stumbled out in my bathrobe to see what was going on.
          During the five years it took to get that tiny church off the ground I distinctly remember rejoicing in a good offering. And I always knew when the offering was going to be good. It was going to be good when I tithed. I taught school. I sold cars. I rented cars. I sold insurance. I sold cemetery property. I sold credit cards over the phone. I fought and clawed and scratched with very little outside support to firmly establish that church. And it worked. The month after we burned our mortgage the congregation voted to transition us to full time support. Two years later, through tears, we left those people we loved so much and came to Chicago where for these eleven years we have labored in a more established situation.
          Here in Chicago I followed an older pastor whose financial model was low pay with occasional extravagant gifts from the church. I sought to transition it to a higher base of pay and benefits with fewer and less extravagant gifts. Presently our church pays me a healthy salary, furnishes me a retirement package through vested interest in the parsonage, provides me a place to live, pays my utilities, purchases health and life insurance for our family, reimburses me for medical expenses, helps me with continuing education, makes a mission trip or conference available to me each year, and gives me several weeks of vacation. Once a year, as well, they set a Sunday aside for pastor appreciation and give me a small gift on that occasion. Depending on our church's financial health I may or may not use all of these in a given year.
          Paul, from a jail cell, said But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4.10-12) I grew up broke in the ministry. I began broke in the ministry. I continued broke in the ministry. Now for the past few years I have enjoyed a period of relative comfort. Before it is all said and done the Lord may want me broke again. It is His choice. I am a worker in His vineyard.
          This is my story. It colors who I am and how I approach the personal financial aspect of pastoring. And I thought if I was going to write about what I think churches and pastors ought to do that I should tell you where I am coming from.
          I would love to hear your story if you care to tell it. Comment publicly or message me privately. And may the Lord use it in some small way to produce pastors that are wise, contented, and sacrificial and churches that are financially educated and generous. And together, no matter what our state, let us serve the Lord with joy.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Help! What Should We Pay the Pastor? – Part One, The Pastor's Mindset

         One of my favorite explanatory phrases is the elephant in the living room. It conveys such a wonderful visual image and thus a clear point. Amongst all of the pretty decorations, Queen Anne chairs, picture frames, and dainty teacups sits an enormous elephant. But no one discusses the elephant. They just all pretend it is not there. Someone, though, must needs take the first step to bring up the elephant in the living room. It is both too important and too big to continue to ignore. So here we go…
          In absolutely practical terms I do not know of a subject that is thought about more and talked about less in public by the typical pastor and his family then the pastor's salary. Perhaps there are some saintly men of God whose minds dwell only upon faith, hope, charity, and the lost souls of the Nigerian people but I do not know any men like that. The men I know – and I know rather well more than a hundred IFB pastors – live in the same real world that everyone else does.
          Some may say in response that such subjects are private and that very few people openly discuss their own needs and salary. While this is true there is one tremendous difference: the pastor's salary is not private. It is public knowledge arrived at in the most public of ways. I do not know of a single layman (and please do not hang me for that term; I do not mean it in any way disrespectfully but simply as a differentiation) who would be comfortable with an entire church full of people knowing the intimate details of his salary. Nor would he be comfortable with that salary and benefits package being determined in a public manner by a large number of his closest friends and acquaintances. But the pastor accepts this situation. He must make the best of it and one of the ways he makes the best of it is simply not to discuss it nor to allow his wife and children to discuss it. So the elephant just sits there while everyone politely pretends it doesn't exist.
          For the next few weeks on this blog I am going to discuss this elephant. I will do so primarily from an independent, fundamental Baptist (IFB) perspective. Not only is this my only real area of expertise but it is also where the biggest need for an educational increase lies. I will try to be balanced though that probably just means I will offend all kinds of people from every angle of the spectrum. I plan to discuss such topics as the pastor's necessary mindset (today's post), the bivocational pastor, the causes for an unacceptable salary, the victims of that situation, what an appropriate pay package ought to include, and how to arrive at those specific numbers. Along the way I will be fairly transparent telling much of my own personal history and situation. I wholeheartedly invite you to enter into this discussion with me either via the comments on this blog or on my own facebook page. I am very interested in hearing the perspective of God's people - pastors, staff, and lay people. If nothing else gets accomplished perhaps we can at least agree to stop ignoring the elephant in the living room.
          Let me say unequivocally at the outset that I am not aiming at my own church. In fact, I am not aiming at any particular church let alone my own. For the past eleven years God has allowed me to pastor the Maplewood Bible Baptist Church of Chicago. At first they were weak in this area but over a number of years their understanding deepened as I sought to gradually and gently teach them their responsibility. I can honestly write that I do not personally know of a similar size IFB church that takes better care of their pastor than Maplewood does of me. I have no ax to grind. They count my position worthy of double honor.
          In fact, I do not want to begin with the church at all. I want to begin with the pastor. There are two absolutely essential monetary mindsets that a pastor must constantly cultivate in the Lord's work. The first is contentment and the second is a willingness to sacrifice. Without these, whether the church fulfills her responsibility well or not, he will inevitably fail.
          Contentment is stressed from one end of the Bible to the other. The Ten Commandments includes Thou shalt not covet. (Exodus 20.17) Covetousness is, at its root, a lack of contentment in the circumstance into which God has placed you. I am not content with my house; I want my neighbor's house. I am not content with my wife; I want my neighbor's wife. Paul, in an epistle aimed directly at pastors, would later mention contentment more specifically in a financial context. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (I Timothy 6.6-8)
          Practically speaking, this means I am satisfied with my salary regardless of how measly it is. It means that I am happy in my parsonage regardless of the crumbling state of its maintenance. It means I am comfortable with my retirement package even if it doesn't exist. Contentment does not rule out a desire or effort to better my financial situation but it does rule in a heart peace with the material circumstances of my life. I do not cast my eye across town to the senior pastor of the more established church who enjoys a veritable plethora of benefits. Nor do I roam further afield and behold with envy my Southern Baptist brethren and the amazing health plan they enjoy. Instead, as often as necessary, I take my concern, fear, and unease to the Lord. I ask Him to settle my heart and to let me be at peace with what He has seen fit to provide.
          This is such a necessary element for a pastor especially because discontentment will not remain isolated to the financial arena. Soon I will want a larger ministry. Soon I will covet some other church building. Soon I will find that ambition, pride, and a striving for mastery rule in a heart that once wanted nothing more than to be spent in God's work however He might choose. I realize the ditch of fatalism and cynicism exist on this side of the road. But I cannot, however, justify an envious, unhappy, discontented spirit with the excuse that I am simply maintaining a passionate desire to advance the cause of Christ.
          I will speak more of this later but I began the ministry by living in a room that was five feet wide and seven feet long in a building that had neither shower nor bathtub. In His grace He has allowed me to enjoy a four bedroom, three bath house for the last eleven years but if He wanted me to remain in those cramped conditions that is His right. I am a servant in His vineyard. If he wants to pay me a penny a day for eleven hours of work or a penny a day for one hour of work it is completely His prerogative.
          Contentment is not just resignation either. It is an active faith that says I believe the Lord will meet my needs. My father was a pastor for thirty-eight years. Upon entering the ministry he opted out of Social Security. Along the way he never developed a plan to replace it. We could and should discuss the merits of the wisdom of that approach but I know him exceedingly well. His heart was simply to serve the Lord. When the time came a few years ago for him to retire he expressed a child-like trust in the Lord's provision. Guess what? The Lord has and is providing. Whether your church grasps the necessity of its financial responsibility in the area of you and your family or not you can and should cultivate contentment.
        The second vital attitude that a pastor must cultivate in ministry is a willingness to sacrifice. Twenty-six years ago at a youth meeting I attended Jack Hyles asked us to sign our name to a card indicating our willingness to enter full time Christian service. We could debate the merits of that but we cannot debate the merits of what he said next. He asked us to flip it over and write one word on the back – sacrifice. I still have that card. A pastor – a word literally meaning shepherd – must be willing to give up anything to help the flock. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (John 10.11) This attitude of sacrifice is to continue for the entirety of our lives. We are to be a living sacrifice. (Romans 12.1) This sacrifice is not to be undertaken with pessimism or endured as torture but to be combined with a spirit of joy. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. (Philippians 2.17)
          It is not unusual to find such a spirit of sacrifice in young men freshly entered upon ministry. It is more unusual to find it in the mature pastor, in the seasoned servant of the Lord. Often, with that transition from young to old comes the accompanying idea that our time of sacrifice is over. There is only one problem with that – God never implied such, let alone stated it, and we have no right to infer it. Certainly a church should strive to make such financial sacrifice unnecessary in the life of a pastor but just as certainly he must be always willing to undertake it.
          An applied corollary of sacrifice is the foundational principle that I must not damage the church. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God. (I Corinthians 10.32) The church has a responsibility to provide generously for my financial needs but that does not mean I have the right to demand that generous compensation. Especially if in so demanding I hurt the church.
          I am thinking at the moment of two specific gospel preaching churches that used to be located within a mile of our church here in Chicago. They no longer exist. In the first case the pastor inherited a large, crumbling building with a congregation of only thirty. He led them to sell the building and the parsonage. I saw the wisdom in that. But what he did next was not wise; it was predatory. He pushed them to buy him a condo, a "summer parsonage" in Michigan, and jack his pay up to over $100,000 a year. Meanwhile his church drifted down from thirty to less than ten. For about five years he milked the situation until the money ran out and then he rode off into the sunset. I full well understand the high cost of living in the inner city and while I do not make $100,000 a year it does not bother me if a pastor does. Unless in so doing he hurts the church. Which is precisely what he did. In the second case a man of great experience (which means he was getting old) refused to relinquish the pastorate even as he entered his declining years. He had been there for thirty years and, like my father, had made no provision for retirement. Unlike my father, however, he hung on like grim death. As his health, energy, and mental faculties declined he presided over a corresponding decline in his church. An IFB church that once ran 150 in Sunday School could muster only a dozen or so at the end. Finally, unable to pay the bills, the congregation voted to sell the building, close the church, and give the proceeds to the pastor to live off of in retirement. I applaud that aspect of the church's approach but the hard truth is the church should never have been placed in that position. The pastor's selfishness and fear – hard words, I know, but true – murdered a church in order to ensure his own financial security.
          Sacrifice says, 'If the damage must come to either the church or myself let me be the one to suffer loss.' A pastor who is unwilling or unable to believe that in his heart and practice it with his life is unworthy of the position.

          In this series I will make no bones about what a church ought to do financially in relation to a pastor but if that pastor allows discontentment to breed in his heart a sufficient paycheck will not solve the problem. And though a pastor should not have to undergo serious financial damage in order to ensure the stability and future of his church he must always be willing to do so. Always.